Oxford University Press's
Academic Insights for the Thinking World

OUP Philosophy

Karl Marx: 200 years on

This May, the OUP Philosophy team honors Karl Marx (1818-1883) as their Philosopher of the Month. 5 May 2018 marks the 200th anniversary of the birth of this revolutionary philosopher who is best known for The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, and the substantive theories he formulated on the capitalist mode of production, communism, and class struggles after the dawn of modernity.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

How well do you know Adam Smith? [quiz]

This April, the OUP Philosophy team honors Adam Smith (1723-1790) as their Philosopher of the Month. You may have read his work, but how much do you really know about Adam Smith? Test your knowledge with our quiz.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

Philosopher of the month: Adam Smith [Timeline]

This April, the OUP Philosophy team honors Adam Smith (1723-1790) as their Philosopher of the Month. Smith was an eminent Scottish moral philosopher and the founder of modern economics, best- known for his book, The Wealth of Nations (1776) which was highly influential in the development of Western capitalism.

Read More
Journal of the American Academy of Religion

Aftering critical theory: reimagining civil “religion”

Why haven’t the insights of critical theory been more widely incorporated into the work of religious studies scholars in particular, and humanists more generally? Conversely, why have critical theorists missed the cross-cultural patterns of signification that have shaped post-tribal hierarchies for millennia, when they are so adept at finding hidden epistemological linkages within western political hegemonies?

Read More
OUP Philosophy

What is it like for women in philosophy, and in academia as a whole?

During Women’s History Month, the OUP Philosophy team has been celebrating Women in Philosophy throughout history and in the present day. While it is easy for most of us to name male philosophers, it is far more difficult for people to name female philosophers even though their influence has been just as great as their male counterparts.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

Landmark moments for women in philosophy [timeline]

This March, the OUP Philosophy team are celebrating Women in Philosophy. Throughout time, women have had to fight for their place in history, academia, and the philosophy discipline. To honour their contributions, we will be highlighting women and their achievements in the field of philosophy all throughout Women’s History Month.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

Women in philosophy: A reading list

This March, in recognition of Women’s History Month, the OUP Philosophy team will be celebrating Women in Philosophy. The philosophy discipline has long been perceived as male-dominated, so we want to recognize some of the incredible female philosophers from both the past and the present.

Read More

Ascending to the god’s-eye view of reality

Frank Wilczek famously wrote: “A recurring theme in natural philosophy is the tension between the God’s-eye view of reality comprehended as a whole and the ant’s-eye view of human consciousness, which senses a succession of events in time. Since the days of Isaac Newton, the ant’s-eye view has dominated fundamental physics. We divide our description of the world into dynamical laws that, paradoxically, exist outside of time according to some, and initial conditions on which those laws act.

Read More

Making babies: 21st century reproduction

Today, it is our understanding of the start of life, not its end, that’s being challenged. What does it take to reproduce? Once again, technological advancements are challenging one of our most familiar biological concepts. It used to be that there were only two ways for something to reproduce: either through the sort of sexual reproduction typical of most animals or through the asexual reproduction characteristic of things like bacteria.

Read More

On our craving for generality

Ludwig Wittgenstein, in his Blue Book, chastised philosophers for what he called “our craving for generality.” Philosophers (including the earlier Wittgenstein of the Tractatus) certainly have exhibited this craving, and despite his admonishment, we continue to do so.

Read More

Ten things you may not know about women and liberty

Imagine that you’re a married woman living in a bleak dystopian world in which you’re barred from higher education, you’re forbidden from owning your own property, you have no freedom of movement outside your own home, and your husband might sexually assault you at any time, with impunity.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

How well do you know George Berkeley? [quiz]

This February, the OUP Philosophy team honours George Berkeley (1685-1753) as their Philosopher of the Month. Berkeley was born in Ireland but travelled Europe, lived in America, and eventually settled in London. He is best known for his work in metaphysics on idealism and immaterialism. How much do you know about the life and work of George Berkeley?

Read More

The weight of love: ‘love locks’ as emotional objects

On the night of 8 June 2014, a section of the metal barrier on the Pont des Arts in Paris collapsed under the weight of thousands of padlocks which had been attached to it. Since the first decade of the twenty-first century, it has become increasingly common for famous (and sometimes less famous) bridges, and, increasingly, other monuments, to become encrusted with small padlocks in celebration of romantic love.

Read More

My author. My friend?

Imagine you’ve sat down with your favorite novel. While you’re reading, what do you feel? If, in part, it’s an emotional connection with a character, you’re not alone. This is a common experience; and plenty has been written about it, in both popular and scholarly spaces. Because it’s powerful and strange, this feeling. Powerful enough to make you cry. Strange in that it’s fictional characters we’re talking about.

Read More

How and why to study folk epistemology

Folk epistemology may be roughly characterized as the (mostly tacit) principles, presuppositions, and principles that involve epistemological notions such as knowledge, evidence, justification etc. Folk epistemological notions have not been as empirically well-studied as folk psychological notions such as belief, desire, and intention.

Read More
OUP Philosophy

Philosopher of the month: George Berkeley [timeline]

This February, the OUP Philosophy team honours George Berkeley (1685-1753) as their Philosopher of the Month. An Irish-born philosopher, Berkeley is best known for his contention that the physical world is nothing but a compilation of ideas. This is represented by his famous aphorism esse est percipi (“to be is to be perceived”).

Read More